Feeds

Keep Landsat flying forever, says US Academy of Sciences

Boffins fear US budget woes may clip wings of next-gen space snapper

A new approach to endpoint data protection

America's National Academy of Sciences has called on the US government to guarantee the future of the country's venerable Landsat missions amid uncertainty engendered by the country's slow-motion budgetary train wreck.

Fearing that the program, which began in 1972 with the launch of the Earth Resources Technology Satellite (later Landsat 1), the program had its eighth-generation launch in February 2013.

Landsat and Beyond was authored by the Committee on Implementation of a Sustained Land Imaging Program, comprising the Space Studies Board, Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences, and the National Research Council.

It states that the “economic, intrinsic and scientific benefits to the United States of Landsat imagery far exceed the investment in the system.”

In addition, the committee, chaired by Jeff Dozier of UC Santa Barbara, warned that America's earth survey resources are under challenge: “other nations are now developing systems whose capability rivals or exceeds US systems,” the report states.

According to Space News, NASA has been considering options for Landsat other than a dedicated Earth imaging spacecraft, such as hosted payloads. The cash-challenged space agency of a cash-challenged government has also been exploring international partnerships as an option to continue the program.

The NRC report calls for a “systematic and deliberate” program to prevent any disruption of the Landsat program.

The report is available for purchase at the NAS (abstract here). ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Brit amateur payload set to complete full circle around PLANET EARTH
Ultralight solar radio tracker in glorious 25,000km almost-space odyssey
Boffins spot weirder quantum capers as neutrons take the high road, spin takes the low
Cheshire cat effect see neutrons and their properties walk different paths
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?